Group says fishing ban for rocket launch absurd

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LUCENA CITY—The militant fisherman’s alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Saturday assailed the recommendation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) to impose a fishing ban on a “600-kilometers-by-400-kilometers exclusion zone” on Oct. 26 when South Korea launches a rocket to send a satellite into space.

Salvador France, Pamalakaya vice chair, ridiculed the proposal and called it “absurd and mind-boggling.”

South Korea had announced the launch of its third Science and Technology Satellite-2 aboard the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 on Oct. 26 from the Naro Space Center on Naro Island, Goheung County, South Jeolla, some 485 kilometers south of Seoul.

France said the South Korean rocket is only 33 meters long and 3 meters in diameter, which he compared to the size of an LRT or MRT train.

“The debris that will eventually fall in Philippine waters is probably like the size of an 8-cubic foot refrigerator. But here is the government asking for a fallout area which is twice as (large as) Luzon island,” France said in a statement.

“This is the grandmother of all mind-boggling tales in the world,” he said.

On Tuesday, NDRRMC executive director Benito Ramos said the entire Bicol region; Samar and Leyte in Eastern Visayas, and Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Siargao and Dinagat islands in the Caraga region would be declared  “no-fly, no-sail” zones during the rocket launch.

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